[Humanist] 32.13 Humanist at 31 & the future of the digital humanities

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun May 13 08:41:13 CEST 2018


                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 13.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Sat, 12 May 2018 10:22:55 +0200
        From: Paolo Monella <paolo.monella at gmx.net>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.11 Humanist at 31
        In-Reply-To: <20180512072313.E835D1402 at s16382816.onlinehome-server.info>


Dear Willard,

whatever opinion one may have about the very issue of (still) asking the 
(in?)famous question "What are the DH?", I think that we can agree that 
it characterises a state of our field of study in which cultural 
criticism and methodological reflection aim at shaping practice.

The predominance of announcements on reflections, instead, might reflect 
a state in which we, possibly worn out by that never-ending complexity, 
agree to disagree, ride the current long DH wave, and pragmatically let 
practice define what we are and what we do.

A risk might be that we get the illusion of perpetual motion: what we 
actually do (practice, funded projects) defines what we do.

What is the external source of energy that keeps the wheel spinning, if 
not theoretical and methodological reflection? Possibly that adjective 
that I slip in ("funded")?

I often wonder how long funding would keep pouring on our mill's wheel 
if projects should become increasingly arid in terms of DH 
methodological innovation. Which boils down -- for me -- to the 
fundamental question: what's the scientific advantage of doing X 
computationally, as opposed to doing it analogically on paper?

All best,
Paolo





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